Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic Molecules Hold Promise For New Family Of Anti-cancer Drugs

Date:
June 4, 2008
Source:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Synthetic molecules have succeeded in reducing and even eliminating the growth of human malignant tissues in mice, while having no toxic effects on normal tissue.

Prof. Shimon Gatt (left) and Dr. Arie Dagan in their laboratory at the Hebrew University--Hadassah Medical School.
Credit: Hebrew University photo by Sasson Tiram

Synthetic molecules designed by two Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have succeeded in reducing and even eliminating the growth of human malignant tissues in mice, while having no toxic effects on normal tissue.

The molecules developed by Dr. Arie Dagan and Prof. Shimon Gatt of the Department of Biochemistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School affected the metabolism of various sphingolipids and consequently those of cancer cells. Sphingolipids are a family of complex lipid molecules that are involved in signaling pathways that mediate cell growth, differentiation and death.

Several of the most active molecules developed by Dagan and Gatt are derivatives of ceramide (a member of the sphingolipid family). Ceramide induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a variety of cancer cells.

The natural levels of ceramide in cancer cells are generally too low to induce a therapeutic effect. In preclinical studies to date, various treatments with the synthetic molecules resulted in an elevation of ceramide levels in cancer cells, thereby leading to their death by apoptosis. In addition, these synthetic molecules appear to be synergistic with chemotherapeutic drugs.

Dagan and Gatt state that their studies demonstrated that their synthetic compounds reduced considerably the sizes of pancreatic, prostate and breast tumors with little or no effects on normal cells and tissues. The researchers see this as a precursor to the development of a new generation of anti-cancer drugs that induce, selectively, apoptosis only to tumorous cells. These drugs are expected to be highly effective while inducing fewer side effects than current anti-cancer drugs.

Prof. Shimon Gatt and Dr. Arie Dagan's development of synthetic sphingolipid analogs as anti-cancer drugs is patented by Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Yissum licensed the technology to BioLineRx, a clinical stage drug development company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange,, for the development of these synthetic molecules as anti-cancer drugs.

For their work in developing these harbingers of a possible new generation of anti-cancer drugs, Dr. Arie Dagan and Prof. Shimon Gatt were among those receiving the Kaye Award for Innovation June 4 during the 71st meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Board of Governors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Synthetic Molecules Hold Promise For New Family Of Anti-cancer Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080604101546.htm>.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2008, June 4). Synthetic Molecules Hold Promise For New Family Of Anti-cancer Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080604101546.htm
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Synthetic Molecules Hold Promise For New Family Of Anti-cancer Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080604101546.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins